Also read: New ‘State of Alarm’ in Spain (25 Oct)
PLEASE NOTE: We are no longer updating the report below. Instead, please click here for all our on-going reports on: Coronavirus in Spain
For reference, you will still find below all the details of Spain’s four phase de-escalation plan. Please support Spain in English with a donation.
Final update in Spain on Sunday 21 June at 2am:
Spain’s four phases to lift lockdown restrictions – plus each region’s current status
This report is divided into four sections:
- ‘Four Phase’ plan – introduction
- The ‘phase status’ for each region – plus latest updates
- Rules and measures for each phase, regularly updated
- ‘State of alarm’ in Spain to date, plus latest travel restrictions
1. ‘Four Phase’ plan – introduction
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced his government’s ‘Plan for the Transition towards a new normality’ on Tuesday 28 April. It is currently taking place over four phases.
Sánchez said the plan to relax the restrictions would be ‘gradual, flexible and adaptive’. The de-escalation to ‘a new normality’ officially started on Monday 4 May and will last up to eight weeks, until the end of June.
On 3 June, the Spanish Congress voted to extend the ‘state of alarm’ for a sixth and final time until 21 June. The ‘state of alarm’ is in place whilst the country also continues with the plan of lifting lockdown restrictions.
The four phase de-escalation measures depend on the on-going progress across the different regions of Spain to combat Coronavirus.
Each region of Spain has been required to meet specific epidemiological criteria and maintain sufficient capacity in intensive care unit facilities, in case there is a sudden increase of infections again.
Each region has also been required to have the ability to carry out PCR tests on all suspected cases, as well as being able to isolate them and test all their contacts.
The government’s original plan was that each phase of the de-escalation would last for approximately two weeks. Phase Zero started on 4 May. Phase One started on 11 May for many regions and provinces. Phase Two started on 25 May.
Phase Three started from Monday 8 June for many regions – with 70% of Spain now in Phase Three from Monday 15 June.
The ‘new normality’ in Spain starts from 21 June onwards, after the ‘state of alarm’ ends. The whole region of Galicia is already moving to the ‘new normality’ from Monday 15 June.
PLEASE NOTE: We are currently preparing a separate report on the ‘New Normality’: what it is, what it means, and what measures are included. We will shortly post a link to the on-going report here.
In section 3 below, we summarise the main measures that are being relaxed across Spain during each phase. We update this information as and when any new measures are officially announced.
2. The ‘Phase Status’ for each Region
Spain has 17 Autonomous Communities (regions), each with its own ‘regional’ government. These regions are divided into provinces (although some regions are ‘one province’ regions). Each province is further divided into municipalities, each with its own local council.
If the Health Ministry states that citizens can only move within their province during the relaxing of restrictions (for example, during Phase One), it means between the municipalities of that province and not across the whole region.
From 21 June, all citizens will be able to move freely across and between all regions of Spain.
Meanwhile, some of the current restrictions apply to different healthcare zones. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide all details for your own precise area. Readers should check with their local authorities for further information on what is permitted and when, as the enforcement of measures might differ from one municipality to the next.
Latest ‘Phase Status’ for each Region
Madrid currently remains in Phase Two (since 8 June).
Madrid is the region that has been hit the worst by the Coronavirus pandemic. It had previously requested to move to Phase One for the whole region from Monday 11 May – and then again from Monday 18 May. On both occasions the permission was not granted. It finally moved to Phase One on Monday 25 May.
The issue became a political one – also see our report of 16 May. The Madrid regional government, which is controlled by the right-wing People’s Party (PP) in coalition with the centre-right Ciudadanos (Cs) has filed an appeal with Spain’s Supreme Court to investigate why the Health Ministry twice denied Madrid’s request to move to Phase One.
The Catalan government’s plans have been to focus on moving healthcare zones through each phase, rather than overall provinces. This was permitted by the Health Ministry.
The healthcare zones of Camp de Tarragona, the western Pyreness (Alt Pirineu i Aran) and the Ebre region (Terres de l’Ebre) moved to Phase Three on 8 June.
The healthcare zones of Girona, Catalunya Central, Garraf and Alt Penedés move to Phase Three on Monday 15 June.
Barcelona city and its two metropolitan areas (north and south), as well as the area of Lleida remain in Phase Two.
ALSO READ: Barcelona enjoys Phase One, with parts of Catalonia in Phase Two (published 26 May).
Further details (in English) of how Barcelona city is adapting urban spaces and re-opening establishments during the relaxing of lockdown restrictions, plus all details about the rules concerning its beaches, can be found on the City Council’s website by clicking here.
The Basque Country has three provinces – Álava, Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa. The entire region moved to Phase Three on 8 June.
Andalusia has eight provinces – Almería, Córdoba, Cádiz, Huelva, Jaén, Seville, Málaga and Granada. All areas are now in Phase Three.
Valencia region has three provinces – Valencia, Castellón and Alicante. The entire region is now in Phase Three.
Galicia has four provinces – Lugo, La Coruña, Ourense and Pontevedra. The whole region has now moved to the ‘new normality’.
PLEASE NOTE: We are currently preparing a separate report on the ‘New Normality’: what it is, what it means, and what measures are included. We will shortly post a link to the on-going report here.
Castilla y León
Castilla y León has nine provinces – León, Burgos, Salamanca, Zamora, Soria, Valladolid, Palencia, Ávila and Segovia.
León, Burgos, Palencia, Valladolid and Zamora move to Phase Three on Monday 15 June.
Castilla La Mancha
Castilla La Mancha has five provinces – Guadalajara, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Toledo and Albacete. All the regions is now in Phase Three.
Canary Islands has two provinces – Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. All the Canary Islands moved to Phase Three on 8 June.
Aragón has three provinces – Zaragoza, Huesca and Teruel. All provinces moved to Phase Three on 8 June.
Balearic Islands is a ‘one province region’, with four islands. The island of Formentera moved to Phase Three from 1 June. Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca moved to Phase Three on 8 June.
Extremadura has two provinces – Badajoz and Cáceres. All the region moved to Phase Three on 8 June.
Asturias, Navarra, Cantabria, La Rioja and Murcia
These areas are all ‘one province regions’ and they all moved to Phase Three on 8 June.
Ceuta and Melilla
The cities of Ceuta and Melilla are located in North Africa. They both moved to Phase Three on 8 June.
3. The rules for each phase
Rules that still apply from Phase Zero
To download a full PDF (in Spanish) of all the measures for Phase Zero published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE), please click here.
No area of Spain currently remains in Phase Zero – which was the ‘preparation phase’ for the de-escalation. It had also included allowing children out for daily walks and exercise from Sunday 26 April – and adults being allowed out for daily walks and exercise from Saturday 2 May.
Certain rules introduced during Phase Zero and the overall ‘state of alarm’ in Spain still apply:
Face masks & public transport
From Monday 4 May, it initially became compulsory to wear face masks on all public transport in Spain.
From Thursday 21 May, it then became compulsory to wear face masks in Spain in closed spaces (including shops and stores), as well as on the street and in public places, if a 2-metre ‘social distance’ cannot be maintained.
For the full details of the rules for wearing face masks, and exemptions to the rule, please see our separate report: Face masks compulsory in closed space and outside if not at 2-metre distance.
On public transport where all passengers have to be seated, no more than half of the seats should be occupied. On buses, the row directly behind the driver must remain empty.
On buses and metro carriages with standing space, the rule is that only half of seats may be used and there should only be a maximum of two standing riders per square metre.
People are allowed to travel in a private vehicle with other people they live with in order to make purchases or visit establishments permitted to be open in the area they live in, and according to the phase that it is in.
Vehicles (with the capacity) are permitted to be occupied by up to nine people. However, If the occupants of a vehicle do not live together, a limit of one person in each row of seats applies, and they will have to wear face masks.
Time slots for walks & physical exercise
During Phase Zero, the government set time slots for when citizens could take walks in towns with over 5,000 residents (now changed to over 10,000 residents). Physical exercise (jogging, cycling, skating) was also allowed during set time periods, as long as it was practised ‘individually’.
Officially these time slots remain in place during Phase One in order to avoid crowds carrying out these activities – although some provinces have been relaxing the restrictions; please check with your local area.
During Phase One, in areas where it is permitted to visit establishments that are open (some shops, as well as restaurants and bars with terraces open at 50% capacity, for example), the time slots do not apply.
Please note that some regions have changed the time slots for when for children’s walks are permitted during Phase One, to avoid the hottest hours of the day. Children under the age of 14 can officially go outside between 12pm and 7pm during Phase One – as was the case during Phase Zero. From Thursday 28 May in Madrid (currently in Phase One), for example, this will change to between 10am and 1pm, and from 5pm to 9pm. The rest of the time slots – 6am to 10am and 8pm to 11pm for adults, and 10am to 12pm and 7pm to 8pm for senior citizens remain the same.
#UPDATE The Spanish government has now lifted the lockdown rules (from Wednesday 27 May) on exercise and walks for areas in Phase Two. Please see below.
Most beaches remained closed in Spain during Phase Zero, except for walking and running on the sand. Some coastal municipalities allowed people to swim, and use paddle and surfboards, as well as kayaks. The rules are different for each coastal region and municipality during Phase One and Phase Two. Please check with your local authorities.
New Rules for towns with up to 10,000 residents
Time slots for going for walks or exercise in towns with up to less than 10,000 residents have been removed. The rules were previously exempt for municipalities with less than 5,000 residents.
What you can do in a Phase One area
To download a full PDF (in Spanish) of all the updated measures for Phase One that have been published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE), please click here.
Here is also a link to a 24-page PDF (in Spanish) from the Spanish Health Ministry, providing all the guidelines for Phase One.
Please note that regional governments have adapted some of these measures for their own specific areas:
The key measures for Phase One are summarised as follows:
- Up to 10 people can meet for social gatherings, either outside or in someone’s home (also at restaurant and bar terraces – see below), but social distancing measures must be respected between people who do not already live together
- Small businesses can open and serve customers, as long as health and social distancing measures are in place
- Restaurants, bars and cafés can open their outside terraces at 50% capacity
- Hotels and tourist accommodation can open, but communal areas must remain closed
- Places of worship can open at 30% capacity
- Non-professional sports are allowed for activities not involving physical contact or use of changing room facilities
- Outdoor markets can operate but the stalls must be set out with spacing between
- Cultural events for up to 30 people can be held indoors at 30% of the venue’s capacity
- Cultural events for up to 200 people can be held outdoors
- Museums can open at 30% capacity
- Funerals can be held with ‘limited numbers’ of mourners
- Timetables for taking walks and doing physical exercise remain in place to avoid crowds, although the regions will adapt them according to factors such as hot weather. We understand that people are allowed to visit establishments that are reopening at other times. This was already in place for certain shops and services (hairdressers, hardware stores etc) opening up for customers by appointment only
- Rural tourism (possibly forest walks and trekking) is also permitted during this period, yet it should be in limited groups and with the same social distancing measures for people who do not live together
- It is still compulsory to wear face masks on all public transport in Spain, whatever phase the region or province is in. It is also now compulsory (since 21 May) to wear face masks in Spain in closed spaces (including shops and stores), as well as on the street and in public places, if a 2-metre ‘social distance’ cannot be maintained (see above).
- The BOE also recommends that people continue to work from home where possible. If at a workplace, there should be a distance of two metres between employees. Arriving and leaving should be staggered.
Please also note:
- The official measures are that citizens must not travel from province to province, but travel within a province or healthcare zone is allowed.
- Whilst travelling within a province that is in Phase One, people are allowed to travel in a private vehicle with other people they live with and without restrictions. Vehicles (with the capacity) will be permitted to be occupied by up to nine people. However, If the occupants of a vehicle do not live together, a limit of one person in each row of seats applies, and they will have to wear face masks.
- Journeys in private vehicles within a province can be made for any of the activities permitted above (ie, they do not need to be only for essential items)
- Journeys to second residences and hotels are also allowed, providing they are in the same province. If they are in a different province, trips will not be allowed until towards the end of June.
Phase Two – started Monday 25 May
Pedro Sánchez referred to Phase Two as the ‘intermediate phase’. It started on Monday 25 May.
To download a full PDF (in Spanish) of all the updated measures for Phase Two that have been published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE), please click here.
Here is also a link to a 29-page PDF (in Spanish) from the Spanish Health Ministry, providing all the guidelines for Phase Two.
#UPDATE: The government has now lifted the lockdown rules (from Wednesday 27 May) on exercise and walks for areas in Phase Two. This is in effect to formalise what many families have been doing anyway.
From Wednesday 27 May, children living in Phase Two areas are able to go outside as many times as they wish, and without any restrictions on the time spent outside. Social distancing measures must still be maintained.
The new government order now lifts restrictions for both children and adults. All are allowed to go out for walks and practise individual sports (jogging, cycling), in any part of their province, island or healthcare zone, with no limit on time or distance. It also means that anyone living in a Phase Two area can also go to the countryside or trekking, as long as they remain within their province or healthcare zone.
There is still a time slot reserved for senior citizens from 10am to 12pm, and 7pm to 8pm. Each region can move this schedule by up to two hours to avoid the high temperatures. We have not received reports, however, that under-70s have not been allowed to exercise during these same times. We understand ‘common sense’ should prevail but please also check with your local authorities. At all times, social distancing must be maintained – and the wearing of face masks (see above) where 2-metre distancing is not possible.
Residents in Phase Two areas are able to go for walks and take exercise with up to 15 other people, including both parents in the case of families with children. But those who do not live together must maintain safe distances and hygiene measures.
What you can do in a Phase Two area
- For walking and physical exercise – all citizens under the age of 70 can take walks and exercise during the day (as updated above). The time slot of 10am to 12 noon and 7-8pm is supposed to be reserved for people aged over 70. Time slots only apply in municipalities with more than 10,000 residents.
- Up to 15 people can now meet for social gatherings, either outside or in someone’s home (also at restaurant and bar terraces – see below), but social distancing measures should still be respected between people who do not already live together.
- Up to 20 people can participate in nature tourism activities together.
- Citizens are allowed to move freely within their province (or island), including to their second homes.
- Shops and stores can open independently of their size, but with capacity limited to 40%. There should also be priority timetables for the over 65s.
- Restaurant and bars can now re-open their interior dining areas, apart from nightclubs and music bars, provided capacity is limited to 40%. Eating inside can only take place if sitting at a table, or groups of tables, and ideally via prior appointment. Self-service at a bar is not permitted. Terraces for cafés and restaurants will continue at 50% of capacity.
- Open-air markets are allowed with a third of normal stands.
- Hotels and tourist accommodations can re-open their common areas, provided capacity is kept to 30%.
- Cinemas, theatres, auditoriums and culture venues can re-open, provided that seats are pre-assigned and capacity is limited to 30%.
- Shopping centres can open. Capacity is limited to 40% within shops and 30% in communal areas.
- Casinos can open at 50% capacity.
- Open-air concerts are allowed, but the public must be seated, observing social distancing, with capacity at 30% and limited to 400 people.
- Recreational swimming pools can open at 30% capacity, but changing room showers cannot be used and social distancing must always be guaranteed.
- Professional sports leagues are allowed to resume, behind close doors and without spectators.
- Places of worship can have 50% capacity.
- Funerals can take place with a limit of 25 people if outside, and 15 people in closed spaces.
- Bullrings and open-air bullfighting installations can open, provided seats are pre-booked and capacity does not exceed 30% with a limit in all cases of 400 people.
Whilst schools across Spain will officially not open again until September, Sánchez also said that from Phase Two of the easing of lockdown measures, some institutions might be able to open to host some face-to-face activities with students. Again, this will depend upon the progress of each region.
The activities could include ‘reinforcement lessons’, students sitting university entrance exams, as well as ensuring that children under the age of six can go to school if parents have to go to work and have no one to leave their children with.
Where students do attend schools during Phase Two, the groups will be limited to a maximum of 15 students.
Phase Three – from 8 June
Phase Three is the last stage in the de-escalation plan before the ‘new normality’.
On Saturday 30 May, the Spanish government published in its Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) the full details of all the measures for Phase Three.
Here is also a link to a 22-page PDF (in Spanish) from the Spanish Health Ministry, providing all the guidelines for Phase Three.
Phase Three sees further measures relaxed, as well as allowing more flexible and free movement across Spain and between regions. The use of face masks remains compulsory (as above).
The main difference between Phase Two and Phase Three is the increase in capacity permitted at restaurants, venues and other public facilities. Also, the number of people allowed in social gatherings is 20 during Phase Three compared to 15 in Phase Two. Bars are also allowed to re-open in Phase Three, but with safety measures in place.
A key difference is also that regional authorities take control of the de-escalation process during Phase Three, and can also decide how long this last phase last.
Most importantly, the regional authorities for areas in Phase Three can allow free movement within their entire territories from Monday 8 June.
Galicia, Aragón, the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands have already stated that free movement will be permitted in Phase Three. (Please check with your own local authorities if you are in a Phase Three area).
What you can also do in a Phase Three area
- All previous establishments above that had been allowed to open with a third capacity during the previous phases are now able to increase to 50% capacity. Terraces can operate at 75% capacity. Standing in bars is also permitted but with a distance of 1.5m between customers.
- Nightclubs and music bars can open and operate at 30% capacity. Dancing is not permitted, however, as ‘when there is an area used for a dance-floor or similar in a venue, it should be used to install tables or groups of tables, and cannot be employed for its habitual use’, according to BOE.
- The communal areas of hotels can now be open at 50% capacity.
- Capacity in shops increases to 50%, as long as there is a minimum distance of 2-metres between customers.
- All other activities that were permitted in previous phases at 30% activity can now increase to 50%.
- Performing arts venues and music venues can open at 30% capacity. Cultural shows and events can take place with audiences of less than 80 indoors and 800 outdoors (seated).
- Theme parks can open with up to 800 people.
- Beaches also ‘officially’ re-open during this phase (as well as hotel communal areas, such as swimming pools) depending on the region and province. Security, health and on-going social distancing measures will still be put in place.
- Bullrings can re-open with pre-booked seats and without exceeding 50% capacity, and in all cases not exceeding 800 people.
We are currently preparing a separate report on the ‘New Normality’: what it is, what it means, and what measures are included. We will shortly post a link to the on-going report here.
4. ‘State of alarm’ & travel restrictions
On Wednesday 3 June the Spanish Congress voted to extend the current ‘state of alarm’ in the country until 21 June. It is the sixth and final extension.
Spain had originally commenced its lockdown for two weeks from 14 March, with measures that confined everyone to their homes apart from leaving to purchase food or medication, or to go to their place of work only if they could not perform their duties from home.
Travel restrictions & 14-day quarantine for international arrivals
International travellers arriving to Spain will have to self-quarantine for 14 days, according to a new order published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) by the Interior Ministry.
The order came into effect on Friday 15 May. It will remain in place during of the ‘state of alarm’, currently due to end on 21 June.
During 14 days, international travellers arriving in Spain will have to stay at home or wherever they are due to lodge, and their movements will be limited to basic activities only, such as buying necessary products, for health reasons, or force majeure.
Those crossing the border into Spain will also be obliged to wear a face mask and comply with all hygiene and safety measures.
Cross-border workers, freight drivers, cargo workers, transport crew, diplomatic staff and health workers are to be excluded from this rule, as long as they have not been in contact with anyone diagnosed with Coronavirus.
All travel agencies and transport companies need to inform their clients of these measures before confirming the sale of tickets to Spain. Airlines will need to hand forms to passengers for details of where they will be staying, and these will have to be completed by travellers to Spain on arrival.
The order in the BOE also still restricts the entry to ports and airports to Spanish nationals, residents in Spain, and those who arrive for work reasons.
ALSO SEE (23 March): The new restrictions at Spain’s airports, ports and land borders
These restrictions come on top of those previously adopted at land borders with France and Portugal and the restrictions on the entry of travellers at external borders (originating in countries from outside the Schengen area) at ports and airports.
The Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) states that from midnight on 15 May, only the following may come into ‘national territory at internal borders through ports and airports’:
- Spanish citizens.
- Residents in Spain, accrediting their primary residence.
- Cross-border workers.
- Healthcare professionals or those who look after the elderly to exercise their labour activity.
- Those people who can show documentary evidence of causes of force majeure or a situation of need.
Foreigners duly accredited as members of a diplomatic mission or those who come to Spain on ‘exclusively work-related grounds, provided that they can show documentary evidence’, may also gain access through these borders.
Furthermore, it states, in order to ensure the continuity of economic activity and to preserve the supply chain, these measures will not apply to ‘the transport of goods, including the crew of maritime vessels, in order to guarantee the provision of maritime transport services and fishing activity, and the aircraft personnel necessary to carry out commercial air transport activities’.
Click here for all our previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain